Quad Cities Hangout Spot UP Skybar
The view from UP Skybar in downtown Davenport.

It was about two years ago when our then 9-year-old son wanted to stop being treated like a kid. My husband and I weren’t quite ready to accept that our little boy was growing up, but we understood and wanted to try to oblige. So, the hunt for Quad Cities hangout spots that were family-friendly began! 

We decided to have fun family dates so our son didn’t always have to stay home with a sitter. We go places that my husband and I really enjoy, but where kids are welcome, too. Luckily there are a lot of great options in the Quad Cities!

The benefit is two-fold. My husband and I can relax and enjoy good food and drinks (like we normally would on a date), and our son feels included and grown up.

Here are five of our favorite Quad Cities hangout spots that adults love (and kids can go, too!):

**I should note that this is written as pre-COVID. But, you’ll see that most of our favorite spots are outdoor locations, so I was eager to share this list as we look ahead to summer 2021!**

Analog Arcade Bar MolineAnalog Arcade Bar II – This arcade in downtown Moline is all ages until 9:00pm. In addition to two floors of arcade games, Analog has ample space to sit, hang out and enjoy LoPiez Pizza. Arcade games take tokens, and some of the video games (like Nintendo and Sega) are free to play. Our son likes Skee Ball, Pop-A-Shot and pinball, while my husband and I relive our youth with NBA Jam, Mortal Kombat and Galaga. 

Front Street Tap Room & Antonella’s Pizzeria II – Located at the Freight House in downtown Davenport, the large patio overlooking LeClaire Park and the Mississippi River is a great place to spend a warm evening. We enjoy stopping here for a break when we’re on a bike ride along the river. Front Street beers on tap are fantastic, and I love getting Antonella’s pizza by the slice. If you have younger kids, they might also enjoy the nearby playground.   

TacosJennie’s Boxcar – If you like tacos, margaritas and a nice outdoor seating area, then this is the place to go. Jennie’s Boxcar is at the Rust Belt in East Moline. They also serve Snoop’s Chips and Salsa, which is a local favorite and so, so good! In the same courtyard, you’ll find Midwest Ale Works if you’re interested in trying local craft beer while you’re out.

UP Skybar – Our son absolutely loves UP. There is no better view of the QC, since the cocktail bar is located on the roof of The Current hotel in downtown Davenport. When we go as a family, we go in the afternoon when the bar is less busy and the atmosphere is more kid-friendly. They have a full bar and serve appetizers and small plates. 

Armored Gardens PatioArmored Gardens – This is another fun hangout spot in downtown Davenport. Like UP, if you’re taking children, I’d recommend going for lunch or an early dinner since the patio can get quite lively at night. The patio at Armored Gardens is large and really unique with ping pong and a small putting green. And did I mention that they have more than 100 beers on tap?

This stage of life with our son has been a joy so far. We’re cherishing these years of him wanting to hang out with mom and dad, so we plan to keep bringing him along for the fun whenever we can, especially around our hometown of Moline. Are there other local places you’d put on this list of Quad Cities hangout spots adults love (and kids are welcome, too)?


  1. This is great Karen! None of these places were around when I was growing up in Bettendorf! If we were doing something cool it usually included The Mark.

    • It is amazing how many new places have opened in the last 5-10 years! Let me know if you’re ever back in the area and I’ll give you even more recommendations!


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